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Grow Children's: Katie and Harlow Pritt

Knowing her daughter Harlow would be born with some type of clefting of the lip, palate or both, Katie Pritt initially contemplated leaving the state to find the best healthcare available.

Her search, instead, ended in Morgantown at WVU Medicine Children’s with plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Aaron Mason.

“When I met with Dr. Mason, immediately I felt very comfortable with him,” Pritt said. “It was almost calming meeting with him. He actually answered most of my questions before I even had to ask them.

“(Harlow) did better than I did post-surgery,” Pritt continued. “She’s very resilient. She was very strong. Once the anesthesia wore off and we came home the next day, she was completely fine. It looks good – he did a really good job.”

As the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in West Virginia, WVU Medicine Children’s needs to grow to ensure that all of the state’s children are able to find those resources within West Virginia.

“A lot of these children and families were referred outside the state, because those services are not available,” Dr. Mason said. “What I do is really rewarding and very, very interesting, for me personally, but I am not so naïve as to say that I am the person that mediates the effect.

“It takes a team, it takes a collective of other practitioners, ancillary services and then infrastructure to support that type of intervention and care,” he continued. “That only comes truly in a free stander or in a children’s hospital environment. Our ability to evolve that kind of an entity here, for the state, is huge.”

That entity comes in the form of a new, 150-bed, nine-story tower, scheduled to be completed in early 2021. Generous donors so far have contributed $41 million of the $60 million needed in private funding.

“I feel like WVU Medicine touches the entire state of West Virginia because the state needs more advancements -- and WVU has the ability to offer that,” Pritt said. “If it wasn’t for them, we would have to go out of state, three or four hours away. 

“For families in West Virginia, it’s just not realistic to be able to do that,” she continued. “It would be nice to be able to have exactly what we need here in our home state.”

The new WVU Medicine Children’s tower will include:

• Diagnostic imaging and a laboratory

• Operating rooms, cardiac catherization, interventional radiology and endoscopy facilities

• A 34-bed Pediatric Acute Care Unit, including six beds available for hematology/ oncology

• A 31-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with six beds available for epilepsy monitoring

• A 54-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

• A 30-bed birthing center

• A medical office building, Cancer Institute, Heart and Vascular Institute, and Maternal-Fetal Medicine clinics

Consider making a gift to the “Grow Children’s” campaign and join the thousands of people who are making the new hospital a reality. 

Individuals or businesses interested in supporting campaign can contact Cindy Liberatore, 681-285-9239, cynthia.liberatore@wvumedicine.org. Naming opportunities are available.

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